Power and Politics - I am Not the Yellow Peril

The life and times of an Asian American activist who tells all the truth (and dishes news and analysis) but with a leftwards slant.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

On violence

So the suspected Virginia Tech shooter was Korean American, a 23 year old English major. Angryasianman has a good roundup of the articles, so I'll just let you go over there. Asian Nation has an interesting analysis about the hype surrounding his Asian identity.

I don't know how one kid wound up feeling so lost and alone and angry that he decided to shoot so many of his peers, but the psychic trauma that the VT community must be experiencing is immense. Last night I kept reading the articles and the available information, trying to make sense of seemingly nonsensical violence.

I live in a city where the crime rate has gone up, where kids murder each other in broad daylight with nary a thought, as if killing were an extracurricular and each kill a notch. These kids are in the minority of the minority, but we also need to focus on how to help the kids who are trying to stay afloat.

I read in one of the articles that Cho Seung-Hui, the suspect, enjoyed playing Counterstrike, as if that made him a murderer. So many of the guys I know play Warcraft or Doom or Counterstrike or Age of Empires or Grand Theft Auto or any number of games where people slaughter people in the name of harmless entertainment. And I believe that it is mostly harmless, a vent for frustration and a way to pass the time. I've played Age of Empires and GTA before and enjoyed them, I've played Doom once and not enjoyed it. But loads of kids play Counterstrike and they don't go shooting up their schools.

It's not the video games, it's the lack of community. Maybe if this kid had some friends or felt like he fit in more, he wouldn't have gone on this senseless rampage. I am not trying to excuse his actions, I just wonder at what crucial point, and how some intervention might have turned him off this path.

I wish I had some answers but all I have are disjointed thoughts, and hopes that VT will soon be on the mend.


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